FIVE-SPICE DUCK WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH RAVIOLI AND BROCCOLI RABE
2 cups plum wine*
2 5-pound ducks, thawed if frozen
1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder**
1 1/4 teaspoons salt (I like less salt)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon (scant) ground ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil or veg oil.
9 ounces butternut squash or mushroom ravioli
8 ounces smoked bacon, chopped (Fake bits can be subed here Mara)
1 large sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Maui), thinly sliced
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 large bunch broccoli rabe (rapini), thick stems trimmed, tops coarsely chopped
Boil plum wine in heavy medium saucepan until syrupy and reduced to generous 1/3 cup, about 16 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over low heat before using.) (Zin works as well, add a big pinch of brown sugar)
Using heavy large knife, cut each duck lengthwise in half. Cut away backbone. Cut off leg-thigh pieces, then cut off breast pieces; trim excess fat. Remove bones from breast pieces. Transfer leg-thigh pieces and breast pieces to platter (reserve remaining duck trimmings for another use).
Preheat oven to 375?F. Mix Chinese five-spice powder, salt, ground black pepper, and ground ginger in small bowl. Rub spice mixture all over duck pieces. Heat olive oil in heavy large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add leg-thigh pieces and cook until deep brown, about 4 minutes per side. Cover skillet and roast duck in oven until cooked through, about 45 minutes. Transfer duck to plate; cover with foil to keep warm.
Heat same skillet over medium-high heat. Add duck breasts to skillet; cook to desired doneness, about 10 minutes per side for medium.
Meanwhile, prepare ravioli:
Cook ravioli in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels. Discard all but 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Add onion to skillet; sautÃƒÂ© Ã‚Âµntil tender and golden, about 12 minutes. Add butter, then broccoli rabe and sautÃƒÂ© Ã‚Âªust until broccoli rabe begins to wilt. Add ravioli; stir until heated through. Stir in bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Divide ravioli mixture among 4 plates. Arrange duck leg-thigh pieces atop ravioli. Thinly slice duck breasts and fan out alongside. Drizzle with reduced plum wine syrup and serve.
*Plum wine is available at Asian markets, liquor stores, and in the liquor section of some supermarkets.
**Chinese five-spice powder is a spice blend that usually contains ground anise, cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and ginger; available in the spice section of most supermarkets
Pairs Well With
Plum wine is transformed into a sweet but tangy glaze for the duck. At the restaurant, house-made gnocchi is used in this delicious dish. Purchased butternut squash or mushroom ravioli is our easy alternative, and you can save another step by asking the butcher to cut up the ducks for you.